can you please decide if you are a comedy or not

After the big bomb-shell reveal at the end of episode 6, everyone decides it would be Fun to not tell Derick about Milla’s gender. And now for something completely different!

Doug had previously mentioned off-hand that he actually did have a former partner who was killed. He finds out through his acquaintance Paul that Good Looking Joe is back in town! You know, Good Looking Joe! The guy we should all know, that has definitely been referred to before now. Ring any bells? No? Doug is desperate to find Good Looking Joe, even contacting his former boss to try and get in touch. Anyway, Kirill notices that Doug is really gungho about meeting with Good Looking Joe again, and it starts to worry him. Using his own connections he finds out that Good Looking Joe (its just as hard to take seriously when they say it) is the one responsible for the death of Doug’s former ‘partner’ Pat – and also that Pat wasn’t technically his partner at SEVEN-O, but a shoe-shiner who doubled as an information broker. Scared that Doug is out for revenge and is going to murder somebody, Kirill and Travis rush to stop him. It turns out they needn’t have bothered, because Doug’s gun misfires and Good Looking Joe ends up only arrested rather than dead.

me talking to Double Decker’s writing

At least there were some nice cinematic shots like this one.

and this one.

Wow this episode was terrible. I had been dreading episode 7 being bad, but I didn’t expect it to be bad for this reason. This is some of the worst pacing in an anime I have ever seen. Let’s just…let’s just take it from the top, okay?
What the actual hell was the point in the stuff about Milla in the previous episode if this episode would have nothing to do with it..? It’s seriously just shoved to the side in the opening minute! And what there was of it did cause a bit more nervous collar-tugging – its revealed that Derick assumed Milla to be a biological woman, and the rest decide to not tell him not out of any potential respect for whatever the hell Milla’s gender identity even is (we still…have no idea), but because, and I quote, ‘its funny’. (And also because they felt sorry for Derick for ‘not actually having a cute female worker’, which is all kinds of yikes) And what about Kirill? How is he taking finding out there was kind of a huge fact about his sister he never even knew? ….he says its a surprise and then acts like he’s gotten over it. …uh, what? The others even comment that he’s ‘taking it well’. And that’s the entirety of Milla’s role in this episode. She literally disappears after this scene. What is going on? I know Kirill’s obsession with finding her was considered a joke and all but… did he just forget she existed after this as well? Joke or not, they devoted a lot of time to showing how much it meant to him to find her in previous episodes, and now that she’s here…she suddenly isn’t again, and its like she was never there at all. They’re really not going to show him spending time with her or finding out why she left? Is he only capable of thinking of one thing at a time, and his mind was too preoccupied with Doug’s story this episode to consider literally anything else? This is really, really bad writing, guys! Really really bad!

But that’s not the reason this episode was bad. Previously, I complained about never knowing whether or not I am supposed to take something seriously in this show – and then it gives us an episode that is 100% serious. (So yes, we were actually supposed to take the name Good Looking Joe serious, even though it’s impossible to) I’m not saying this is a bad thing, but there was a way this storyline could have worked and Double Decker just went out of its way to not do that. We are introduced to four characters in this episode, and the narrative treats them as though we know who they are. There’s Pat, there’s Paul, there’s Doug’s former boss, and there’s Good Looking Joe. The whole time I was just like who? where? what? – but the kicker is, the episode actually tries to elicit an emotional response from the viewer, as well as shock when Paul and Doug’s boss are revealed to be working for Good Looking Joe, and it just. doesn’t. work. Now, if we had been introduced to these characters earlier in the series- or even the concept of them – this plot line may have had more impact. Instead, it just feels like there’s no point to any of it. And I really need to rant a bit about how pointless a character Good Looking Joe is – the episode hides his identity for most of it – and even goes out of its way to hide his face from the viewer. At first, I was actually expecting it to be revealed that he was actually Milla (AKA Valerie) – hence the ‘good looking’ – and it would also explain why she needed to be introduced at this point in time. Instead he’s just….some guy? Whomst? I get that part of this episode was to show where Doug’s desire to eradicate poverty and class came from, in that poor Pat’s death wasn’t anything heroic or exciting and just some rando called Good Looking Joe getting disproportionately angry that the wrong shoe polish was used – but this writing is just bad.

I did like the surprise reveal that Pat was actually a 12-year-old girl and not a man Doug’s age as was previously implied – and its one of the few examples of Double Decker doing a bait and switch that actually works well and wasn’t just to go ‘haha that was actually a joke!’. It also gives a bittersweetness to his relationship with Kirill, as Pat would have been roughly the same age as him now had she still been alive.

Which makes Kirill’s utter uninvolvement in the entire episode even more perplexing. Even him trying to stop Doug from getting revenge ultimately doesn’t achieve anything, because he doesn’t arrive in the scene in time for Doug’s gun to not fire properly anyway. If the characters had been introduced in earlier episodes, and if Kirill had been allowed to actually be involved properly, this episode could actually have been really good, and a great way to develop the two leads. Unfortunately, it was just a confusing, badly paced mess stuck at an odd point of the series. It’s like every episode has a different writer and they aren’t communicating at all, and episode 7’s writer had to hastily tack on the opening part with Milla when they realized episode 6 ended with a cliffhanger. 

At least there’s a silver lining – we’re finally getting a Max episode next time. 

what the hell is that

more like bad-looking joe

what the hell is that

Out of 5,